Ahhhh….DATE NIGHT!!! We were able to hit this newly opened water-front gem on a kid-free date night. Another new hot spot for the town of Ossining. And this place has outdone itself. From the decor to the food to the drinks to the view….9 Westerly gets a big WOW from The Food Snob. Let’s dive in to the details!
As you drive up to this place, it’s majestic, sitting right on the Hudson River. The parking area right in front of the restaurant is TINY, so if you’re there during prime time, you will likely have to park further away. Since this place is on the same lot as the train station, I cautiously say there is ample parking (ample parking unless it’s an hour where the train station is packed and people aren’t yet home from their evening commutes). Once inside, it’s just lovely. High ceilings, clean lines and a modern feel. The views of the river are stunning. And the outdoor patio beckons one to sit and sip a drink while waiting for a table. But be aware–there’s no service on the patio. You can take your drink out there, but you can’t GET your drink (or any food) out there. We’re not sure if they plan to change this or not but either way, the views both inside and outside are fantastic.
This place also boasts its own dedicated pizza station, an upstairs loft area (which can be rented out for events), and a sizable bar area sporting TVs and plenty of room to mingle. The bar area faces the restaurant but is separated by a wall so it’s kind of its own separate area.
Full disclosure–we were here on opening week. So…I’ll kindly say the servers were…overwhelmed. I truly believe the service will be top notch once this is a well-oiled machine but I do have to comment on my personal experience and the service was slow and sub-par in the “friendly” category. Our waiter seemed annoyed to be there and almost spoke down to us a few times when we asked him questions. Let me remind you–this was a highly cherished and rarely had date night. So, it was going to take more than a jaded server to ruin our night!
Onto the food! Oh….the food!!!!!! WOW. The food was absolutely amazing. We started with some muscles and salmon “cakes”. The muscle broth was the perfect amount of salty. It was a totally balanced flavor and the muscles were tender and flavorful. As you can see in the left background, we didn’t waste any of the broth. It was the perfect kind of broth for dipping bread 🙂 Muscle-lovers…you know what I’m talking about 😉After our appetizer, we each had a tough time deciding what to get as a main course. I settled on one of their sushi dishes (the Food Snob LOVES sushi!) and my husband got the salmon burger. Just an aside on this…hubby had been talking with his friend literally a day before this outing about how it’s so difficult to find places that serve salmon burgers–especially good ones. When he saw this offering on the menu (and after already tasting the high-quality of the appetizers), he knew right away he was getting the burger.
To say this was great sushi would be a severe understatement. To say it was outstanding would still be doing a disservice. This sushi plate that you see above was…mouthwatering. I mean I chewed slower and paced out my bites so that could savor it…and I didn’t leave one grain of rice or one drop of sauce on the plate. It was impressive. The balance of the spicy tuna on top and the sweet sauce and the creaminess of the nuts…and the balance of sticky rice, soft tuna, crunchy shrimp tempera, and crispy cucumber made this a playground of textures. My mouth was very happy!
My husband loved his salmon burger so much that I only got one bite! But it was truly a magnificent bite! If you, like the Food Dad, are looking for a great salmon burger, look no further. This burger was super juicy, flaky, and surprisingly light. The patty fell apart in my mouth and the bun was super fresh and fluffy. This burger was served with coleslaw and guac on top and a side of perfectly crispy fries…this place gets a solid–SOLID–5 on food. But I digress…we have yet to discuss…DESSERT!!! Feast your eyes on these babies!
Yep–those are homemade donuts with a show-stopping vanilla/creme dipping sauce….whaaaaattt?!?! The softest, tastiest, perfectly sweet (served warm, by the way!) little donuts you’ve ever seen or tasted. We got coffee with these and MAN! What a combo 🙂 (If you’re wondering, YES–my mouth has been watering the entire time I’ve been writing this blog…).
What’s not to love? We’ll be back here, for sure. Here is my official rating in each category:
Quality and Variety of Food: Can I give a ten here? Ok, it’s obviously a big huge FIVE. I will say this, while I didn’t enquire, I have been stalking their menu online (hey–no judging here. Food snobs do that!!!!) and I believe it changes somewhat frequently.
Kid-Friendliness: We were sans kids (rare!), but we did see couples and families there with children. It’s an open concept with an outdoor space, so for our clan, it would definitely work. There’s also a bar area with TV’s if you need to walk around a little and distract. Our kiddos could definitely find something on this menu–lots of fish options and some basics like burgers, etc. as well. I’m going to give a 4.
Cleanliness, Comfort and Atmosphere: Definitely a 5. To be fair, it had just opened so everything was pristine. But with the views and the feel of the place…definitely five stars here.
Parking: As mentioned above, it has the potential for ample parking, depending on the train station traffic. We lucked out with a spot right in front but the parking dedicated to the restaurant is quite small. I’ll give a 3 here since ease of parking is kind of a thing for the Food Snob.
Desserts: Another 5 here. Those little donuts…! Also had plenty of other equally delicious-sounding choices!
Cost: No too bad. Starts ranged from $12-17. Entrees in the $25-35 range and pizzas around the $15 mark. Sushi was anywhere from $7-$18. Burgers around $15. So…we thought it was quite reasonable for the quality of food. A four here.
Experience with the Staff: This was lacking. I truly believe they’ve probably weeded out some people by now and have all the little kinks worked out. In my experience, service is never great during opening week. They don’t have a well-oiled machine and they never know how many they’re expecting so it’s hard to demand things to go smoothly. I give a three here and I hope when we go back it’s another five category.
Overall rating is a solid 4 at the time of opening!
Well, that’s it for 3 Westerly. Go get yourself a date night here, folks! Happy eating!